Homepage / Administration & Leadership / You Make the Call...Chili Cookoff
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You Make the Call

I get a fair number of emails at thehappymedic@gmail.com, most asking me to send them money in some elaborate purchase scheme. Nigerian Prince or not, I’m not even sure where to send a money gram anymore.  But, every now and again someone will write asking my humble advice or just wanting to rant. I like reading those because I know how good it feels to get everything out, even if to a total stranger.

But when I got the following email from a person calling themselves “fireman88” in “Buttasscold, Michigan” I was curious to read more.
Mr BAC asked me about a situation he found himself in a few years back and wondered since I do a feature about making decisions would I like to give his situation a try. Naturally I decided to ask all of you, so here you go:

We have a traditional chili cook-off every year for the department and it raises money for gear and rigs and training and stuff. We used to have only fire fighters cook chili but some local businesses got into it and they cook too now. One of them a B-B-Q place has won a lot of awards and always wins now. I had to do a preplan of their BBQ place soon after the cook off and it was nasty. I would never eat there anymore. Nothing was unsafe, OK, just dirty and smelly and nasty. When I told my Chief about it he told me not to upset the owner because he donates a lot to the neighborhood.

I read this and imagined myself back in the kitchen of a local fast food joint a few years back doing a similar thing. I won’t say the name of the place, but when the kid told me they never clean out the chili bin, just add more, I have yet to order the chili cheese tater tots again.

But, what should our cold friend fireman88 do in this situation?  He never mentions if he is career or volunteer, but I think the situation is the same regardless.

I’ll give my response on Monday and, if you’re reading this fireman88, check your inbox I want to hear what you did. Email me or post it in the comments section here.

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0 Comments

  1. Tina January 1, 2010 8:42 am

    I'm not in your field but love reading your blog… Ick! I'd have to tell before someone got really sick.

  2. FireCap5 January 1, 2010 9:02 am

    Simple. Call the Health Department.

  3. Tina January 1, 2010 9:03 am

    Good idea! Could you remain anonymous?

  4. PGSIlva January 1, 2010 10:00 am

    Without a doubt I would notify the health department and probably a hand full of exterminators. Needless to say I would never eat there again.

    If you wanted to take a tactful but direct approach you might mention to the owner or manager of the place that they are in violation of a number of health codes and that “you heard” customers talk about ow the inspectors are coming out…

  5. Tina January 1, 2010 3:42 pm

    I’m not in your field but love reading your blog… Ick! I’d have to tell before someone got really sick.

  6. FireCap5 January 1, 2010 4:02 pm

    Simple. Call the Health Department.

    • Fire Critic January 1, 2010 6:05 pm

      Yup, contact the health department. Do it as a concerned citizen and it has nothing to do with your Chief or the department. Do it anonymously if possible!

  7. Tina January 1, 2010 4:03 pm

    Good idea! Could you remain anonymous?

    • Anonymous January 1, 2010 10:52 pm

      You can up here. You do have to give your name (just like a police call), but it is kept anonymous from the business owner.

  8. Fire Critic January 1, 2010 11:05 am

    Yup, contact the health department. Do it as a concerned citizen and it has nothing to do with your Chief or the department. Do it anonymously if possible!

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  10. Anonymous January 1, 2010 5:00 pm

    Without a doubt I would notify the health department and probably a hand full of exterminators. Needless to say I would never eat there again.

    If you wanted to take a tactful but direct approach you might mention to the owner or manager of the place that they are in violation of a number of health codes and that “you heard” customers talk about ow the inspectors are coming out…

  11. Local Medic January 1, 2010 1:56 pm

    I wouldnt notify anyone, I just wouldnt eat there anymore and wouldn't choose them next year for the cook off. Unless people are becoming ill, I wouldn't take it to that step. Not my business, and they did a lot for the dept.

  12. Local Medic January 1, 2010 2:56 pm

    I wouldnt notify anyone, I just wouldnt eat there anymore and wouldn't choose them next year for the cook off. Unless people are becoming ill, I wouldn't take it to that step. Not my business, and they did a lot for the dept.

  13. topv7051 January 1, 2010 3:07 pm

    I've worked in numerous restaurants prior to my current job, and been to many more for small fires, workers with medical issues, and inspections-almost every place that serves foods has times where it looks disgusting. The health dept knows what is going on, let them do their job.

  14. Guest January 1, 2010 3:07 pm

    Like Firecap5 and the Fire Critic, notify Department of Health. Anonymously.

  15. crazynewt January 1, 2010 3:52 pm

    You can up here. You do have to give your name (just like a police call), but it is kept anonymous from the business owner.

  16. Local Medic January 1, 2010 9:56 pm

    I wouldnt notify anyone, I just wouldnt eat there anymore and wouldn’t choose them next year for the cook off. Unless people are becoming ill, I wouldn’t take it to that step. Not my business, and they did a lot for the dept.

    • Anon January 3, 2010 7:44 pm

      Where’s the “dislike” button?

  17. Anonymous January 1, 2010 10:07 pm

    I’ve worked in numerous restaurants prior to my current job, and been to many more for small fires, workers with medical issues, and inspections-almost every place that serves foods has times where it looks disgusting. The health dept knows what is going on, let them do their job.

  18. Guest January 1, 2010 10:07 pm

    Like Firecap5 and the Fire Critic, notify Department of Health. Anonymously.

  19. LeeFromEngland January 1, 2010 7:21 pm

    A visit from the health dept might be a push in the right direction. Not sure what your Chief's motives are for turning a blind eye. Is he truly acting in the best interests of the public if he knows something like this is happening and allows it to continue? What happens if someone actually gets sick?

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  21. LeeFromEngland January 2, 2010 2:21 am

    A visit from the health dept might be a push in the right direction. Not sure what your Chief’s motives are for turning a blind eye. Is he truly acting in the best interests of the public if he knows something like this is happening and allows it to continue? What happens if someone actually gets sick?

  22. FireCap5 January 2, 2010 8:34 am

    “Not my business”…………….

    Really?? As a healthcare professional, I submit to you that it is your business. Joe Schmuckatelli goes in, has a meal and gets violently ill an hour later. He dials 911 and……………….

    Its now your business. Do you like patients puking all over you and your rig?? I don't!!

    Not to mention the moral duty to act comes into play here, IMHO.

    “Let the health department do their job”

    Most times their inspections are announced and the place has time to clean up. When a complaint is called in they go in unannounced. At least around here…………..

  23. FireCap5 January 2, 2010 3:34 pm

    “Not my business”…………….

    Really?? As a healthcare professional, I submit to you that it is your business. Joe Schmuckatelli goes in, has a meal and gets violently ill an hour later. He dials 911 and……………….

    Its now your business. Do you like patients puking all over you and your rig?? I don’t!!

    Not to mention the moral duty to act comes into play here, IMHO.

    “Let the health department do their job”

    Most times their inspections are announced and the place has time to clean up. When a complaint is called in they go in unannounced. At least around here…………..

  24. Anon January 3, 2010 12:44 pm

    Where's the “dislike” button?

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  26. The Public Servant January 3, 2010 7:22 pm

    In my area, one can make an anonymous report to the Health Department, and leave the enforcement up to them. This way, the right people are notified, but it never has to be known that the fire department (or anyone representing it) was involved. It could be a disgruntled employee. I think to do nothing would be, in a sense, a failure to act because part of the point of pre-planning is to keep public safety in mind. While this situation is a little in the gray area, I think some sort of action is needed, otherwise, how long will it be before you have to respond to an ill patient at this establishment because someone had bad food?

  27. The Public Servant January 3, 2010 8:22 pm

    In my area, one can make an anonymous report to the Health Department, and leave the enforcement up to them. This way, the right people are notified, but it never has to be known that the fire department (or anyone representing it) was involved. It could be a disgruntled employee. I think to do nothing would be, in a sense, a failure to act because part of the point of pre-planning is to keep public safety in mind. While this situation is a little in the gray area, I think some sort of action is needed, otherwise, how long will it be before you have to respond to an ill patient at this establishment because someone had bad food?

  28. The Public Servant January 4, 2010 2:22 am

    In my area, one can make an anonymous report to the Health Department, and leave the enforcement up to them. This way, the right people are notified, but it never has to be known that the fire department (or anyone representing it) was involved. It could be a disgruntled employee. I think to do nothing would be, in a sense, a failure to act because part of the point of pre-planning is to keep public safety in mind. While this situation is a little in the gray area, I think some sort of action is needed, otherwise, how long will it be before you have to respond to an ill patient at this establishment because someone had bad food?

  29. The Public Servant January 3, 2010 10:22 pm

    In my area, one can make an anonymous report to the Health Department, and leave the enforcement up to them. This way, the right people are notified, but it never has to be known that the fire department (or anyone representing it) was involved. It could be a disgruntled employee. I think to do nothing would be, in a sense, a failure to act because part of the point of pre-planning is to keep public safety in mind. While this situation is a little in the gray area, I think some sort of action is needed, otherwise, how long will it be before you have to respond to an ill patient at this establishment because someone had bad food?

  30. The Public Servant January 4, 2010 2:22 am

    In my area, one can make an anonymous report to the Health Department, and leave the enforcement up to them. This way, the right people are notified, but it never has to be known that the fire department (or anyone representing it) was involved. It could be a disgruntled employee. I think to do nothing would be, in a sense, a failure to act because part of the point of pre-planning is to keep public safety in mind. While this situation is a little in the gray area, I think some sort of action is needed, otherwise, how long will it be before you have to respond to an ill patient at this establishment because someone had bad food?

  31. mr ortiz July 15, 2010 5:14 pm

    its like being a patient advocate right? if u suspect abuse of any kind you report it right? why not report this?

  32. mr ortiz July 15, 2010 5:14 pm

    its like being a patient advocate right? if u suspect abuse of any kind you report it right? why not report this?

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